CARSON, Calif. – Jonathan dos Santos is healthy and ready to go for the LA Galaxy's clash Monday (3 pm ET | TVAS, TSN — Full TV & streaming info) in Montreal, and that's a plus to his World Cup hopes. Giovani dos Santos isn't so healthy, is questionable for the trip, and he can't afford to be injured right now.
Both were part of Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio's 28-man preliminary roster for Russia announced earlier this week, and the dos Santos brothers are hoping to make the World Cup a family thing.
“The whole world was waiting for that moment, being able to be part of that preliminary roster,” Jonathan Dos Santos said following LA's training session Thursday at StubHub Center. “We hope to God we could both be part of that final World Cup roster and play together.”
Jona, who was on Mexico's 2010 preliminary roster, but didn't make the final list and wasn't considered for the 2014 tournament because of injury, had to leave last weekend's loss at FC Dallas with a charley horse after he slid the ball away from Mauro Diaz and was scissored by the Dallas playmaker. There were no lasting repercussions, he and LA Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said.
Giovani started every match, mostly as a second forward, for Mexico in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, but he missed the trip to Dallas with what Schmid termed “a little bit of a hamstring strain,” and it could force him to skip the Impact game, too. He returned to the field Friday morning, but worked on the side with the trainer.
“It's probably 50-50 as to whether he'll play or not play,” Schmid said. “We think he's going to be ready, for sure, for the San Jose game on the 25th, but we have to see about Monday.”
The brothers would join Mexico's World Cup camp after the StubHub game against the Earthquakes. El Tri take on Wales at the Rose Bowl on May 28 and Scotland at Estadio Azteca on June 2 before heading to Europe.
Giovani, who missed four and a half games in March and April with a hamstring injury, has declined to talk about the World Cup, neither in relation to his fitness nor Mexico's prospects in Russia, but Jona is hopeful his big brother will recover in time to make the team.
“Gio is fine, he's calm. He's recovering,” Jona said. “He’s been out for a week, but he's good, he's better. He's calm. The most important thing is that he recovers and that he makes it to the World Cup.”
“We're still not on the final roster. We're still part of the initial 28-man roster,” Jona said. “The important thing is to continue to work hard with our teams. The most important thing is staying healthy, because in the end, an injury could leave you without a World Cup.”
He, of course, is excited for the chance to make it to Russia.
“I dream of it every night and every day,” Jona said. “I am eager to be there. I've been waiting for this my whole life. It's been eight years of not being able to be at a World Cup, so, hopefully and God willing, I can be there and accomplish this dream.”
Mexico open their Group F slate June 17 against Germany in Moscow, then meets South Korea on June 23 in Rostov and Sweden on June 27 in Yekaterinburg. The last game could determine the group's runner-up — defending champion and title favorites Germany are expected to finish atop the group — and a likely Round of 16 game with Brazil.
El Tri, who have been eliminated in the Round of 16 for six straight World Cups, are aiming higher.
The goal is “to be world champions,” Jona said. “We are going with that mentality. I think that if you don't go with that mentality, then you don't achieve anything. We have a great team. We have very talented players who have great qualities, so we hope to be crowned champions.”